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NASA releases Its top 50 most iconic photos from throughout the years

Ian Harvey

Those who were alive when the first man walked on the moon are sure to tell you their experience of the event and where they were when it happened.  It was a major phenomenon watched by many people as they sat around their TV sets.

Space has always been a major topic and highly-researched subject for centuries.  It provides so many ideas and new theories as to just how it works.  Amazingly, there are hundreds and thousands of unanswered questions, making space an even bigger mystery than it already is. Thanks to NASA and its scientists and astronauts, these people can discover more in space.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was started on October 1, 1958. Throughout the years NASA has released the memorable photos of extraordinary space events.  Many of the NASA specialists believe that every photo taken throughout the years has deep meaning, however they were told they had to cut their list down to 50, a most difficult task.

Be sure to visit the link to actually view the photos, but for those who can only read this article, here is a list of 10 of the top 50 photos taken by NASA:

Earth Rise



Year taken: 1968

This photo was taken by the Apollo 8 crew.  It captured the earth rising in the solar system as Apollo 8 stood on the dry, quiet moon.  This photo captured just how massive and wondrous space actually is.


Buzz Aldrin

Year taken: 1969

What makes this photo so extraordinary is that this was the first photo capturing the very first humans to step onto the moon.  What makes it even more special is that the photo taken of Aldrin reflects Neil Armstrong as well.  When a person looks at the photo they will notice Armstrong’s reflection in Aldrin’s face mask.  Another interesting fact is that when astronaut toys were produced, they always had one bent arm.  Few really knew why, but after looking at this photo one can see Aldrin’s left arm is bent in the same position; the toys and pieces of art re-create Aldrin’s stature.


Pillars of Creation

Year taken: 1995

This photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.  Although the picture is color-enhanced, it shows the stars forming in the Eagle Nebula, making it one of the most iconic photos taken.  Many people most likely recognize this photo.


Gemini 4 Spacewalk

Year taken: 1964

Although this was already done in Russia three months prior, this photo was iconic due to the fact that this was of the first American to do the spacewalk.  The first Russian to do it was Alexi Leonov.  The American pictured in this photo is Ed White.  Another reason this photo is special is because it is a photo of a person floating in space while another person in space took it.


Boot print on the Moon

Year taken: 1969

This photo was taken by Aldrin while he was on the Apollo 11 mission.  He took it for the scientists back on earth to allow them to study the soil on the moon.  Another, deeper reason for this photo to be in the top 50 is that this photo shows others that a person actually walked on the moon, a major accomplishment.


Presidential Panorama

Year taken: 1997

This photo was taken on Mars while on the Sojourner rover.  This photo was taken especially for  Bill Clinton, who was president at the time.



Year taken: 1986

The photo represents the exhaust trail left by the terrible destruction of the Challenger 73 merely seconds after it lifted off.


Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

Year taken: 1979

The spacecrafts Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both photographed this area on Jupiter as they flew by the planet.  This storm on the planet was so large that three planets the size of earth could have fit in it.


Saturn V Launch

Year taken: 1969

Interested in the rest? Follow the link to view the photos and read more about them. All photos by NASA

Although it is rather simple, it is the photo of Apollo 11 right before liftoff.  It is still a very popular photo today.


First step on the moon

Year taken: 1969

This photo is blurry and hard to see since it is in black and white. However, this photograph is important due to the fact that this is how billions of people saw the first step on the moon – on a black and white television.


Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News